Hackers claim to take down oil company website over soccer

AP News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2017 2:50 PM
Hackers claim to take down oil company website over soccer

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) — Hackers said they took out the website of French oil company Total on Sunday over its sponsorship of the ongoing African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in the central African country of Gabon.

The hackers said they targeted Total because of its backing of the African Cup in Gabon after President Ali Bongo Ondimba retained power in disputed and violent elections last year.

Total's home page didn't appear to be accessible Sunday, according to the website-monitoring service isitdownorjust.me. Total said it was looking into the issue.

It's the second hacking claim related to the African Cup in as many days. The same group of hackers, some of whom said they were based in Russia, claimed they took down the main website for the soccer tournament on Saturday.

There was no immediate way to verify the purported hackers' claims, although Junior Binyam, spokesman for the tournament organizers, confirmed its website had been taken out of action Saturday by a flood of information from "foreign" sites.

The hackers' group said it had a problem with the Confederation of African Football holding the continent's biggest tournament in oil-rich Gabon, where Total has business interests, because Bongo was a dictator.

Bongo was re-elected last year in a close and tense election, which opposition parties claimed was fraudulent. The vote was followed by clashes and deaths on the streets of the capital Libreville. The president has been in power since 2009, when he took over from his father, Omar Bongo, who was president for 42 years until his death.

Total is the main sponsor of the African Cup. It entered into an eight-year agreement with CAF last year to be the tournament sponsor.

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AP Cybersecurity Writer Raphael Satter in Paris contributed to this report.